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Old 10-21-2010, 06:46 AM   #1
brewinginct
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Default Shaking secondary for more yeast flavor

I don't mean shake it and oxidize this promising beer. I have a Saison that will have been fermenting 60 days in 1 week.

when I sampled a month in, but when i tried it again a week later it tasted much more bitter. After making a post about it on here some suggested that it was the result of more yeast falling out of the beer. The gravity also wasn't falling to where I wanted it so I transferred to secondary and threw some rock sugar in the carboy.

Now it's bottling time. As far as I can tell, I thought this beer tasted better with more yeast suspended in it. Should I lightly agitate the yeast at the bottom of the secondary carboy as I transfer to the bottling bucket?

Will any of this impact the beer in any negative or positive way? And is 60 days too long to let a saison sit and ferment? Since transferring to secondary I've noticed these little white dots on the surface which I assume is particle/yeast. This isn't a sign of infection is it?

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Old 10-21-2010, 07:02 AM   #2
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It depends on how long you keep it for. The yeast can start autolysing which will cause off-flavours if you keep it for an extended amount of time.

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Old 10-21-2010, 07:12 AM   #3
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Several examples on here of autolysis being a myth in beermaking, but here's one to start:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/aut...busted-182160/

Just saying.

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Old 10-21-2010, 08:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewinginct View Post
Since transferring to secondary I've noticed these little white dots on the surface which I assume is particle/yeast. This isn't a sign of infection is it?
probably is, actually after 53 days your yeast is done doing what it's going to do. you mentioned that after a month your gravity wasn't where you had hoped it would be. your yeast was done at that point too. Im guessing that most of the yeast had dropped out of suspension and formed a nice cake on the bottom. air lock activity stopped and the there was no krausen or bubbles on the surface. the white spots are a new thing. that's bacteria (99% sure). sorry bro. you can rack off below it but it's in there. the only thing you can do at this point is proceed as normal but you'll probably be disappointed with the flavor at some point in the near future.

yeast in suspension shouldn't improve any beer. maybe a wheat beer, but not a saison.

why did you add rock sugar after primary?

the time to add non-malt fermentables (i.e. sugar) is:

A) during the boil
B) immediately after the boil while the wort is still hot and able to dissolve the sugar
C) at high krausen when the yeast is most prepared to handle the extra sugar
D) all of the above.

there are 2 correct answers. the best answer is C. adding sugars at high krausen allows the yeast to get started on the malt sugars first so that your beer doesn't finish too high. this also allows the yeast to get started on a smaller gravity beer, which is generally better for the yeast. if you're unequipped or too lazy to add sugar at high krausen then the best time to do it is B, immediately after the boil, so it wont interfere with your IBU calculations, and then A, during the boil (between 10 min and flame out) when it will minimally affect your IBUs. so the other correct answer is D. basically anytime before you added rock sugar is correct.

if this was an all grain batch then there is a long list of things that could have gone wrong to cause the too high gravity. first is probably mash temp, second is you didn't fully convert the mash. also it's pretty likely that you under pitched your yeast, but if you used a belgian yeast they tend to finish the job eventually. if this was an extract recipe, well, then if you didn't under pitch then it's extract. extract tends to under-attenuate.

keep asking questions, we'll try our best to answer them.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:42 AM   #5
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You don't have to wait til high krausen, you can add sugar additions (as long as you boiled them) any time, even in secondary, though I tend to do mine in primary.

You don't need to worry about high krausen, in fact it's probably better to wait til it falls before adding the next feeding. It will more than liklely re-krausen a day later as the yeast gets active. I've done quite a few high grav beers this way. Wait til krausen falls, add sugar..wait til that one falls and add another feeding if needed.

I just did my og 1.150 og barley wine where I racked the beer to secondary added a sugar feeding and a starter of trappist high grav yeast, to bring out a different layer of flavor from the clean Cali yeast I pitched originally. The new krausen formed immediately.

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Old 10-21-2010, 01:44 PM   #6
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thanks for the quick replies everyone.

SenorWanderer - Ah that blows that you're so certain it's some bacterial infection. I've been reading other threads and from I gathered, it seems like these little white specks were some normal yeast byproduct. They're really tiny, a few on the surface and a few floating towards the bottom.

The reason I let this sit for so long is that the weather cooled down here and I figured that the yeast would eventually do their thing if I let them hang out for a while.

As far as adding the rock sugar: the guy at my LHBS said that this yeast is notorious for stalling out for a while. He suggested a wait till primary activity ends and rack to secondary and at that time, I could add rock sugar so as to further wake up the yeast and give them to feed on.

Granted he said to do this when the gravity was 1.030 and I did it closer to 1.015 but still, I definitely saw some legit bubbles on the surface of the beer and airlock activity after racking to secondary and adding the sugar.

So would these handful of white dots still be indicative of infection? How do I know for sure if this is infected? I'm assuming that I'll know after I taste it but will I get sick from it?

Revvy - I asked the guy at my LHBS about the risk of infection posed by adding candi sugar to the beer without boiling it first, but he seemed to think that the alcohol that would be present at the time of the addition would wipe out any chance of infection, has that ever been your experience?

Well overall I'm just hoping this freaking beer isn't ruined. It's been hard enough giving the Saison yeast ~2 months to fully develop its taste and it's going to be a major disapointment to end up having to throw this beer down the drain.

Is there any hope that this beer is NOT infected, and that maybe there's just a little yeast floating around from having eaten the rock sugar? What's a sure fire way to determine whether this beer is meant for the drain? And what's the worst that could happen if I drank this beer and it ended up being infected.

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by brewinginct View Post

Revvy - I asked the guy at my LHBS about the risk of infection posed by adding candi sugar to the beer without boiling it first, but he seemed to think that the alcohol that would be present at the time of the addition would wipe out any chance of infection, has that ever been your experience?

Well overall I'm just hoping this freaking beer isn't ruined. It's been hard enough giving the Saison yeast ~2 months to fully develop its taste and it's going to be a major disapointment to end up having to throw this beer down the drain.

Is there any hope that this beer is NOT infected, and that maybe there's just a little yeast floating around from having eaten the rock sugar? What's a sure fire way to determine whether this beer is meant for the drain? And what's the worst that could happen if I drank this beer and it ended up being infected.

ANything touching my beer post boil gets sanitized...Well except hops, they come from a sealed packet so I assume they are safe. But sugar additions or oak, all get sanitized in some day, and obviously for for sugar, boiling is the easiest.

We really need to see pics, but despite what seniorwarder says...white spots on the surface of a beer is QUITE COMMON, we call them yeast rafts. It's simply little colonies of yeast buoyed up to the surface of the beer by co2 trapped in the yeast cake. As it rises to make the airlock blip it often takes up some yeast with it, which sits on the surface...sometimes even foaming a little.

In fact I've rarely seen a "clean" beer surface in secondary or a bucket, AND I've NEVER seen white surface specks that were anything more than benign yeast rafts.

SO unless it smells or tastes bad, I betcha all you have is some surface yeast rafts...But pictures will confirm it.


Oh and get the words' Dumping out of your mindset. GO read this and say a novena or something for uttering such sinful words...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/butt...6/#post2346966
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrambledegg81 View Post
Several examples on here of autolysis being a myth in beermaking, but here's one to start:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/aut...busted-182160/

Just saying.
I've never made a beer in my life, but I'm definitely sure that it causes off flavours in the wines/meads/ciders I've made without waiting for them to clarify properly before bottling, whether it's autolysis or not.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:47 PM   #9
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They're really tiny, a few on the surface and a few floating towards the bottom.
It's impossible to say for sure w/out being able to see it, but this description really makes it sound like it's just yeast to me. Especially the part about there being bits of it floating down towards the bottom. I think infections like to live on top of the beer.

Even if it is infected, don't dump it. Make the LHBS guy drink it for not telling you to boil the sugar

And it won't make you or anybody else sick to drink it (if it is indeed infected). If there's alcohol in there, it's safe to drink. Worst case scenario is that it tastes like a$$.
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